Rising debts, low revenue a ‘national security’ issue PM KHAN SAYS WE DON’T HAVE MONEY TO RUN COUNTRY


From Senior Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said that rising foreign debts and low tax revenues had become an issue of “national security” because government did not have enough resources to spend on people’s welfare.

“Our biggest problem is that we don’t have enough money to run our country due to which we have to borrow loans,” he said while addressing inaugural ceremony of Track and Trace System (TTS) of Federal Board of Revenue for sugar industry in Islamabad.

FBR’s TTS will ensure electronic monitoring of production and sale of important sectors including tobacco, fertilizer, sugar and cement sectors. This will help bring transparency in system and enhance country’s revenue.

Under system, no production bag of sugar will be taken out from factory and manufacturing plant without stamp and individual identity mark.

In next phase, FBR is planning to introduce track and system in petroleum and beverages sector.

PM Imran appreciating FBR for introducing TTS said that this system will have “far reaching” impact on tax collection of country.

Citing examples from western countries, premier said tax to Gross Domestic Products ratio in Scandinavian countries is approximately 50 percent. “But in Pakistan unfortunately tax culture is never developed,” he said, adding that ruling elite of country never took measure to encourage masses to pay taxes. He was of the view that Pakistan could only overcome “vicious cycle” of debt by paying taxes.

Terming Pakistanis one of most generous nation in world, PM Imran said people will start paying taxes when they are assured that their taxes are not being misused by rulers.

He appreciated FBR for collecting record taxes, saying that his government was aiming to achieve tax target of Rs 8 trillion.

Government took $ 3.8 billion worth of new foreign loans in past four months, up by 18 percent, as it saw a further uptick in lending by multilateral lenders once International Monetary Fund obstacle was crossed in a couple of months.